pope joan?!


My sister (not Catholic) believes there was a “Pope Joan” at some point in the past. I don’t remember all the fantastic details of her “story”, but never mind that. I’ve heard this name too, of course there never was a “Pope Joan” but can you tell me who made this up?


This is about the fable:




The fable of Pope Joan was first mentioned in the 13th century by two Dominicans (John de Mailly and Stephen de Bourbon) who placed her pontificate in 1100 (200+ years before!), and by the papal chamberlain (Martin of Troppau) who maintained that a woman was Pope in 855. The legend seems to have originated either in a rumor concerning a woman patriarch of Constantinople, mentioned by Pope Leo IX in a letter to Cerularius in 1053, or in a medieval satire that ridiculed the domination of the papacy by the notorious Theodora and her seductive daughter, Marozia (who became the mistress of Pope Sergius III in 906). Obviously this is why the 10th century is called the “nadir of the papacy.” E. R. Chamberlain, The Bad Popes, 1969).

I would put this story with the Secret Archives of the Vatican (believed by many Protestants, Moslems, Mormons and other non-Christians) where we know (:wink: ) all those other proofs are hidden from the world showing the membership of the Illuminati, the real Da Vinci code, the great classical pornographic art collection, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and other satanic and evil things are kept safe!!


No such person ever existed.


No matter how much robo-feminists wish she did. :wink:


This was proven it was false.


A woman can never be validly ordained as a Bishop. No Pope is a valid Pope unless he is an ordained Bishop. Therefore, there never was and never can be a true woman Pope. However, there may have been a woman antipope in the distant past. There is some evidence of this and I don’t think we should dismiss it out of hand. Ron


*Most scholars dismiss Pope Joan as the medieval equivalent of an urban legend. The *Oxford Dictionary of Popes acknowledges that this legend was widely believed for centuries, even among Catholic circles, but declares that there is “no contemporary evidence for a female pope at any of the dates suggested for her reign,” and goes on to say that “the known facts of the respective periods make it impossible to fit [a female pope] in.”

quoted from:


[quote=Book Catholicism for Dummies page 33]Lady Pope? Hardly. The so-called Pope Joan never existed except in myth from the 13th to 17th Centuries. French Protestant David Blondell (1590-1655) disproved the myth once and for all in a scholarly refutation, but the story is so bizarre that some still believe it despite the lack of any credible evidence.

OP (Original Poster), I hope this helps. There are many GOOD books out there about these things.

Here is a list of books that you may find helpful:
Answer Me This! By Patrick Madrid
Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid
Where Is That In The Bible? By Patrick Madrid
Catholicism For Dummies by Father John Trigilio & Father Kenneth Brighenti

Most things can also be found via web by searching here:

Just to name a few… there are more out there but this is a good start.

Welcome to CAF (Catholic Answers Forum)


Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

Well, we got through another round of the “There Used to be a Female Pope.” Every few years someone breathlessly reports that in the ninth century a woman was elected pope and that she was known in later centuries as Pope Joan.

Fantasy, pure fantasy, pretty much on the level of the predictions of Nostradamus, except a little less reliable. There is no need to rehash the silly arguments in favor of Pope Joan–not a single “fact” holds up to scrutiny–but it is worth noting that some things become matters of faith for some people because they desperately want to believe that they are true.

Pope Joan will be back in a few years. Count on it. Just as there are people who still believe in the power of crystals, so there are (and will be) people who “just know” that Pope Joan really existed. Ideology trumps good sense and always has–another effect of the Fall.
Catholic Answers

Merry Christmas


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